Keep Singing that Automotive Recalls SongKeep Singing that Automotive Recalls Song


April 18, 2024



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Keep Singing that Automotive Recalls Song

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We’re back with another edition of “The Recall Notice”. If you’re new to our recall blog series, buckle up. We are about to take a drive through some of the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalls and explore how advanced connected vehicle solutions, like data logging and over-the-air (OTA) software updates, could have helped prevent and repair them. 

I Can See Clearly Now

NHTSA Campaign Number: 24V111000

OEM: Chrysler (FCA US, LLC)

Components: VISIBILITY

Estimated Vehicles Affected: 199,143

Remedy: Software update at dealership

Estimated Cost: $59.7M - $99.6M

Our first software fault of the day involves a hybrid control processor (HCP) error and is covered by NHTSA Recall 24V111. This fault impacts certain Jeep Wranglers (2021-2024) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (2022-2024) vehicles. When present, the vehicle’s defrosting and defogging systems may become inoperative, placing the vehicle in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 103: "Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems." 

Anyone who’s lived in a colder climate knows how imperative these systems are, particularly in winter. For those who’ve never used their defogger, imagine driving through pounding rain without windshield wipers. Not fun, not safe. 

The good news: there’s an easy and free fix for this fault – a software update. The bad news: owners must take their vehicle to the dealership to receive this update, which means the experience as a whole is not exactly free. 

I’ve Got the Power 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 24V118000

OEM: Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

Components: POWER TRAIN

Estimated Vehicles Affected: 105,071

Remedy: Software update at dealership

Estimated Cost: $31.5M - $52.5M

NHTSA Recall 24V118 pertains to certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles, specifically GLE 450 and GLS 450 from model years 2020 to 2023. Under certain conditions, the transmission may fail to downshift, causing the vehicle to stall. Although this software-related recall was issued in early 2024, the investigation into the fault began in March of 2022. After receiving several reports of vehicles stalling while driving, the automaker began a detailed review of all available vehicle diagnostic information and field data. However, given the limited scope of the data, the manufacturer was unable to identify a root cause or any type of systemic failure.

Over the next year and a half, the company manually installed a data logging device in any vehicle whose owners reported similar issues with the engine stalling. In addition to this hardware installation, the manufacturer worked to develop advanced diagnostic software to assist in the data collection and analysis. Long story short, the automaker was eventually able to duplicate the issue on a single vehicle equipped with the data logging device and then conduct further studies to help identify the scope of the fault, as well as its root cause. In February 2024, almost two years after the issue was first reported, Mercedes issued a recall. The remedy: a free software update. Over-the-air? Nope, at the dealership. 

That's What Happens When Two Worlds Collide

NHTSA Campaign Number: 24V133000

OEM: General Motors, LLC


Estimated Vehicles Affected: 55,755

Remedy: Software update at dealership

Estimated Cost: $16.7M - $27.9M

Our final recall of the day involves General Motors (GM). NHTSA Recall 24V133 is the result of an issue with the front camera module (FCM) of certain 2023 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon vehicles. The camera may inaccurately detect an obstacle and cause the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system to engage. After a similar issue was identified in certain GM vehicles in China, the manufacturer began an investigation into vehicles in the U.S. that use the same type of FCM. Once the fault was identified, they conducted a comparative analysis to determine which software versions, production periods, and vehicles (in the U.S. and China) might be impacted. 

During this analysis, the automaker identified 234 field complaints with a potential relation to the fault, four of which involved accidents, and three of which included minor injuries. Although some GM vehicles have OTA update capabilities, these are limited to specific vehicle architectures. The manufacturer is also in the process of revamping its OTA approach due to problems in the past – such as when one OTA update left thousands of vehicles incapacitated. So, for this recall, impacted owners will still need to take their vehicles back to the dealer for a free FCM software update. 

It’s Never Too Late for a Connected Vehicle Solution

According to ABI Research, by 2028, US original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could be saving as much as 1.5 billion dollars on recalls. Keywords here: could be. Before these savings are realized, automakers must adopt and implement a viable connectivity solution that enables full-vehicle OTA updates. The three recalls we discussed today fall under the umbrella of recalls that could have been fixed with a simple push of a button. Unfortunately, many automakers still don’t have full vehicle OTA software and data logging capabilities. 

As we saw in the Mercedes recall, a data logging device had to be installed post-production to help capture the information necessary to identify the fault’s root cause and take corrective action. This a great approach in that it allowed the automaker to see exactly what was going on in the affected vehicles before, during, and after the fault occurred. But imagine how much time, energy, and money the manufacturer could have saved if that type of solution was already integrated into their vehicles. Furthermore, imagine how much more real-world data they would have access to, allowing them to expedite fault identification and analysis, and even proactively address faults before they turned into recalls. So if OTA updates and data logger solutions are so invaluable, why don’t more automakers have them?

The trouble is that many OEMs are stuck in an in-house development mindset, which is not just a costly, but a resource-intensive endeavor that diverts attention from core automotive manufacturing and innovation. The development process can be lengthy and fraught with setbacks, potentially delaying critical updates and leaving vehicles vulnerable to the very issues they were designed to avoid. 

A more cost-effective and hassle-free solution is to choose an out-of-the-box connected vehicle OTA and data management platform like Sibros Deep Connected Platform (DCP). DCP is currently helping OEMs around the world log relevant data, obtain actionable insights, and perform seamless full-vehicle updates at scale. To learn more about our hardware-agnostic products and how we can help streamline your recall approach, contact us today.  

Albert Lilly
Albert Lilly
Albert brings over 20 years of industry focused enterprise software marketing and business development experience ranging from VC-backed startups to large scale tech organizations. He is a University of Texas at Austin alumnus.